Two Koreas expected to work together to set up sustainable energy sources

  • 6 years ago
There are growing hopes for economic cooperation between South and North Korea in the near future.... and many expect energy to be one of the first sectors for joint projects between the two Koreas.
Oh Soo-young tells us more.
South Korean companies are preparing to power up North Korea with renewable energy sources.
Due to severe power shortages in the North,... setting up stable energy sources is expected to become one of the first joint economic projects between the two Koreas.
According to Statistics Korea, North Korea produced 23-point-nine billion kilowatts of electricity in 2016 -- about four percent of the amount the South produces,... and the number of power plants only amount to seven percent of those in the South.
Compared to the six to eight years it would take to set up a thermal power plant, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power generators are expected to take about three years.

"North Korea has emphasized the use of what it calls 'natural energy.' The South could easily help provide solar energy,... especially with our outstanding semiconductor technology. The North has been looking into wind energy as well. Mid-term projects could include procuring natural gas from Russia,... Using such sources, rather than thermal plants or nuclear generators would build up a sustainable energy framework."

It’s not just industrial generators that are expected to be in high demand -- North Korean households are also likely to need smaller generators that use sustainable energy sources to overcome power shortages."

One particular firm has been preparing to address a wide range of energy needs in the North through state-of-the-art solar technology.

"In addition to our solar cell, module and production technology that has been internationally acclaimed,... as well as the technology to construct generator facilities, we have all possible solutions for solar technology. We have also been facilitating small solar generators which have been combined with small energy storage systems for areas in Southeast Asia with no electricity."

The company believes joint projects combining the South's know-how and the North's human and natural resources, could boost competitiveness in the global energy market.

"Unlike the situation in the South, we can actually test and finetune large-scale microgrids technology. It is a place where we can verify the utility of such technologies."

To help the North go green,... and unlock the potential commercial benefits, experts say efforts are needed from both energy firms and government authorities to enable swift action once economic cooperation makes headway.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.